Don't be a Legal High 'Lab Rat' this Christmas - Deputy Mayor of London Supports Angelus Foundation's New 'Legal Highs' Education Film

Dec 11, 2014, 19:01 ET from Angelus Foundation

LONDON, December 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The only British charity dedicated to raising awareness of 'legal highs', the Angelus Foundation, today launches its latest film 'Lab Rats' for the Christmas party season. Deputy London Mayor, Victoria Borwick said she was, "delighted to support the Angelus Foundation with this important work."

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The film portrays a London headshop, which sells 'legal highs' on the high street. The message is that these 'legal high' products are manufactured in a haphazard and inconsistent manner with little regard for the welfare of the customer. The film actors are stand-up comedian, Jeff Leach, and Irwin Sparkes, lead singer for the rock band, the Hoosiers.

Angelus has produced several films making young people more aware of the harms and unpredictability of substances such as Clockwork Orange, Pink Panther and Charley Sheen. Their schools film 'Not What it Says on the Tin' has been shown to strongly influence 95% of those who viewed it, away from 'legal highs' (also known as New Psychoactive Substances).

Deputy London Mayor, Victoria Borwick said, "More needs to be done to get the message out to people that these substances, the so called legal highs, are far from safe and can lead to tragedy.  That's why I am delighted to support the Angelus Foundation with this important work."

Founder of Angelus, Maryon Stewart said, "It is not acceptable for young people to be just 'Labrats' trying out new unknown substances, potentially risking their lives. The Deputy Mayor is right to highlight the need to educate young people about these substances. We are very proud the impact our films have made on young people by exposing the risks of these untested substances. A small proportion of young people will chose to take those risks but there is a huge majority who are vulnerable to experimentation and they need to realise what are the potential harms. That is what our films are doing: helping them make a better choice. The shops that sell these dangerous products have been allowed to trade way too long. The Government has said it will enact legislation against them and we call upon them to act swiftly."

Jeff Leach, the actor and comedian who lost his best friend Louise to party drugs, wrote the script for Lab Rats as well as appearing in it. "Young People are curious and adventurous but it's imperative to educate them about the vast risks involved in using legal highs. Why should more young lives be lost through a lack of education?"  

Irwin Sparks, the lead singer of the Hoosiers and co-performer in Lab Rats says "making people aware of the dangers inherent in legal highs is vital work that I'm happy to be part of."

Notes to editors:

1. Maryon Stewart lost her 21 year old daughter, Hester, to GBL in 2009 and established the Angelus Foundation. It is the only drugs charity dedicated to combating legal highs and club drugs and has previously launched a national campaign including the website http://www.whynotfindout.org. There is also a site for families http://www.angelusfoundation.com which includes several films informing young people about how to stay safe.


2. The new Angelus film 'Labrats' can be viewed http://www.angelusfoundation.com/media/videos/angelus-pfc-film/ and will also appear on http://www.whynotfindout.org . It is aimed at young people 16-21 to inform them about the way headshops package their products in a random and irresponsible manner.


3. Victoria Borwick, is the Deputy Mayor for London with lead responsibility on health issues. On 19 November, the issue of 'legal highs' was raised in Mayor's Questions and there was agreement to look at what can be done to stop the sale of these substances.

SOURCE Angelus Foundation